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[Money Moves] 5 things you must consider before buying your first home

May 14, 2018 at 11:30 am | Money Moves

Mildred Europa Taylor

Mildred Europa Taylor | Staff Writer

May 14, 2018 at 11:30 am | Money Moves

Decide on a budget before getting a home — Mortgage Diligent

Check your finances

You must know how much you’re earning, how much you’re saving, or if you’re not saving, how much you’re actually spending every month. This will give you the direction as to how to plan. Check your credit score, as this will affect the interest rate on your mortgage. Don’t spend more than 28 percent of your gross income on housing in any given month.

It is equally important to save towards an emergency fund and get together a down payment. Note that the smaller the down payment, the larger the mortgage loan and the more you will pay in interest. It is advisable to put down 20 percent as in some jurisdictions, you will have to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI), which is a safety net for the bank in case you are not able to make your payments.

Find the right mortgage as well. A fixed interest loan will give you stability as the interest rate won’t change for the life of the loan, so your payments remain stable. If interest rates go up, you continue to pay your same lower rate, and vice versa. With an adjustable rate loan, however, you benefit when interest rates are going down, but when rates go up, you can find yourself with a higher monthly payment.

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